Few areas of the body are more susceptible to catastrophic injury than the spinal cord. Damage to this foundational part of the central nervous system often has consequential effects on a victim’s life. Even a minor spinal cord injury can mean years of rehabilitative therapy and a long, expensive road toward recovery. More serious injuries can have permanent and debilitating effects.
Recovering fair financial compensation for an injury of this nature can be difficult, especially without support from a knowledgeable catastrophic injury attorney. If you sustained spine trauma because of another person’s negligence, speak with a Hamilton County spinal cord injury lawyer about your legal options.
As the central conduit for all nervous system signals traveling to and from the brain, the spinal cord must be functioning normally for a person to have full motor function, sensation, and control throughout their body. Any bruising, twisting, or partial tearing of the spinal cord—known as an “incomplete” injury—inhibits communication between the brain and every muscle and nerve below the injury site. If the spinal cord is severed in a “complete” injury, the loss of function below the injury site is permanent and total.
Accordingly, injuries to different areas of the spinal cord can have very different effects, as an experienced Hamilton County attorney could affirm. Injuries closer to the tailbone may result in some degree of paraplegia, or paralysis in the legs, groin, and everywhere else below the waist. Injuries near the neck, on the other hand, may result in quadriplegia, or complete paralysis of the entire body below the neck.
Regardless of the type or extent of spinal cord trauma, the short-term and long-term effects of this kind of injury can be immense. Spinal cord injuries are uniquely challenging and expensive to treat, and even the best medical care received immediately after an injury may not be enough to prevent lifelong losses. An injured victim may suffer decreases in earning capacity, enjoyment of life, consortium with a spouse, and even ability to perform basic daily tasks like eating and getting dressed.
Importantly, while damage caps apply to all personal injury claims filed in Tennessee, the cap applicable to cases involving catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage is somewhat looser. Under Tennessee Code §29-39-102, a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia allows an injured party recover a maximum of $1,000,000 in compensation from the defendant(s) in their claim, as opposed to the normal cap of $750,000 for less severe personal injuries.
This award may cover non-economic losses such physical pain, lost quality of life, and other forms of harm without objective financial values. A local spinal injury attorney could help calculate a victim’s damages and pursue the compensation they deserve.
Serious spine trauma can have consequences that last for the remainder of an injured individual’s life. Even when some degree of physical recovery is possible, the financial, professional, and personal losses associated with an injury like this can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, help is available from a Hamilton County spinal cord injury lawyer. The legal team at Yates & Wheland knows how to pursue the compensation you need to help you move forward from your accident. Learn more and give us a call today.